Joseph Mallord William Turner

Inscription by Turner: A Transcription of Royal Academy Accounts

c.1824

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 187 × 115 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D18481
Turner Bequest CCX a 2

Catalogue entry

The following inscription in pencil occupies the whole of the page, turned vertically:
From Xs 1822. to Ladyday 1823
Pensions –           35 , 12 , 6.
Donations –          65,  15   0
Ladyday –1823 to Mid –
Pensions –          230   12   6
Don.                  0    0   0
Midsummer to Mich ––––––
Pension –            13 ,  2 , 6 
Don.                383 .  1.  0 
Mich. to Xs         208    2   6 
Pensions.            34    3   6 
Don ––––            970    9   6 
     1821        1822 
Xs    to    Lady day        1822 
P                     0    0   0 
D –                   0    0   0 
       L Day to Mid – 
P–                  217   10   0 
D                    69    2   0 
       Mid to Mich 
P –                   0    0   0 
Don                 352,  16,  0 
          Mich to Xs 
P                   195    0   0 
Don                  50   18   6 
                    885    6   6 
The following is written in ink as a separate calculation of the difference in the two years’ totals, between the first and last columns of the last three lines of the pencil inscription:
970  9  6 
885  6  6 
 85  3  0 
A letter to Turner’s friend and fellow Royal Academician (Sir) John Soane of late 1823 or early 1824, addressing him in jocular style as ‘Monr Auditor’, appears to refer to their election along with the sculptor (Sir) Francis Chantrey as auditors of the Royal Academy’s accounts on 10 December of the former year.1 The English quarter days for the settling of accounts mentioned in the list are Lady Day (25 March), Midsummer Day (24 June), Michaelmas (29 September) and Christmas (25 December).
Finberg appears to have dated the whole sketchbook to about 1824 on the basis of the last date in this retrospective list of pensions and donations being Christmas 1823. As Ian Warrell has suggested,2 most of the drawings elsewhere in the book may be considerably earlier (see the introduction).
Although Finberg’s Inventory gives this as page ‘2’, without the usual ‘a’ suffix to indicate a verso, it seems always to have been such. The recto is blank save for John Ruskin’s ‘2’ inscribed in red ink (now very faint) at the bottom right, and the corresponding Turner Bequest number ‘CCX(a) – 2’ stamped in black beside it.
1
Gage 1980, p.91 letter 103 and note 2; see also Finberg 1961, p.282, and Lindsay 1966, pp.160, 244 note 14.
2
Warrell 2003, p.21.

Matthew Imms
January 2012

1
Finberg 1909, II, p.640.

Read full Catalogue entry

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